Wednesday, August 19, 2009


The end of summer is near, but we still have fairly hot daytime temperatures, here in the high desert. (103 degrees F right now.) At least the night temperatures have cooled down to the low 70's. That makes a huge difference, if I know I can get up early and have a pleasant walk with Mr. Pono. Most native flora are struggling to survive until cooler temperatures return once more. I have managed to discover a few native plants blooming, one of which is the Sacred Datura. I remember this plant from last year. It is also sometimes called Jimson weed or The Desert Thorn Apple. It has large white blossoms, and the growth of leaves beneath the flowers is an unexpected, deep green. To read more about this plant, you may consult wikipedia here.

An artist friend of mine, Lily Stockman, has entered the land of the great blog-o-sphere. I think her blog is delightful, and you may enjoy it too! She is a talented artist and writer. Lily lives here in Joshua Tree with her husband and two dogs. Please stop by her blog for a hello, and tell her I sent you! Thanks.

Here are two hot-off-the-easel paintings. I have called them Nocturnal 1 and 2, and they are oil on canvas, 14 x 14 x 1.5 inches. Forgive the poor photographs, as I quickly clicked them with the beloved point and shoot while they lay drying.

Recently, someone I respect and admire told me that although she liked my new work, she felt I was playing it a little safe. This is not the kind of comment I would necessarily listen to from just anyone. At first, I felt a little miffed. I am proud of my new work (well, most of it, anyway). After getting over my initial irritation, I realized the reason this comment had even left a dent in my mind was because she was right. Yes, I have curbed certain impulses in my painting. I have experienced so many painting "failures", that I have become more careful about my approach to painting, especially on the large canvases. I have become a self-censoring artist, allowing less and less of my original expressiveness to come through in my art. I am usually my own worst critic.

Therefore, my dear readers, I have decided to pull down some large, "failed" canvases, paint over them, and attack them with renewed zeal and courage. Even if I continue to produce more "safe" art during the process, I need to remind myself to let it all hang out, every now and again. I must take risks to push my art further. This is what it means to be a true, genuine artist. Risks will help me express myself more honestly and with less reservations. After all, there is nothing to fear but fear itself. Right?


lee said...

I love your new work, wow stunning,

pRiyA said...

i remember georgia o keefe's paintings of jimson's weeds. they are beautiful plants and they grow here!

very few friends will tell you the truth about your work and it is to be appreciated. a friendship like that is a treasure. the fact that you have thought over what she said, accepted it and decided to do something about it says a lot about you too!

i think these two paintings featured here are gorgeous.

bigBANG studio said...

Oh Karine, you are SO darling! Thank you for posting about my blog, you sweet thang, and HOORAY for your renewed vim and vigor! Can't wait to see what happens with the big canvases. No, actually, I don't need to see them, I'm just proud of you for tackling them with the ambition of pushing beyond what's been safe in the past. WELL DONE, girl! xoxo

Abby Creek Art said...

Hi Karine...sometimes the paintings I totally paint over are so much better. Go for it!

Melissa and Emmitt said...

hi karine!
oh i LOVE your new paintings!

i also love your energy and process for your work! everything is a success if you are having fun!
m & e

Garett said...

These new pieces are just beautiful. "Nocturnal 1" (I'm presuming that's the one on top) is especially captivating. Really nice work.

bindu said...

The paintings remind me of moonlight reflected in a lake and on a sandy sea shore. Very nice.

We have Datura in India too ... it's an interesting plant. In sanskrit, the word Kanak stands for dhatura as well as gold, and there's an old poem that compares the two, saying people go mad when they get one Kanak and also go mad when they eat the other Kanak. It's more effective in hindi ...